BY JON CRONIN
Captain Courtney Nilan, a familiar face at the 102nd Precinct, took command of the precinct in early December and knows that she has big shoes to fill.
Coming on board at the 102nd, Nilan noted that she is astonished at the 35 percent drop in all major crimes over the past couple of years.
“The challenge will be to exceed that,” she said.
Nilan was born in Astoria and spent much of her childhood in Whitestone before her parents moved to Valley Stream. She received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at St. John’s University and her master’s degree in communications from the New York Institute of Technology. Her 13 years on the force began as a police officer in the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica.
“It was a great place to start out,” Nilan said. “There was a lot of seniority there at the time to teach us the ins and outs.”
Nilan added that the 103rd Precinct’s mix of residential and commercial areas gave her good experience for other precincts at which she later worked.
After only four years on the job, Nilan was promoted to detective while working undercover at the Manhattan south district, and then, a year later, she was promoted to sergeant and moved to the 83rd Precinct in Bushwick, where she trained rookie officers. She was then transferred to the Detective Bureau at the 6th Precinct in the West Village.
After her promotion to lieutenant, she knew that she wanted to come back to Queens South, and was transferred to the 113th Precinct for two years before being moved to the 102nd as a special operation lieutenant, putting her in charge of every unit except patrol. After another two years at the 101st Precinct, she is back at the 102nd.
“It’s like coming back home,” Nilan said. “Many of my friends and family live in Queens South. I have a good relationship with many of the people in the precincts here. Not learning a brand-new area or what goes on in it is a big advantage for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better position. I know the staff. They’re great officers, very close. Everybody backs each other up.”
Nilan said that she is familiar with the bars and clubs in the neighborhood that cause problems. She will continue to operate a late-night shift that focuses on the clubs and bars in the area that close around 3 a.m. The shift makes sure that establishments are up to code and licensed, and monitors them at closing time.
She noted that before coming back to the 102nd, she was proud to hear of the collaboration between Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), the State Liquor Authority and state Workers’ Compensation Board to close the problematic Trap House strip club on Atlantic Avenue in Ozone Park.
Nilan said that she looks forward to the challenge of continuing the crime decrease and tackling the high amount of 311 calls that the precinct receives. She said that on Dec 18, the precinct towed 25 illegally parked cars, which included several large tractor trailers.
“I wish we could do this more frequently—every two months—but it’s a big coordinated effort between the NYPD traffic and heavy tow contractors,” Nilan said.
She also noted that the NYPD’s popular Neighborhood Coordinating Officer program is coming to the 102nd Precinct late in the summer of 2018.
Reach reporter Jon Cronin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 125.